Celtic fans have unleashed a torrent of abuse at the club’s Israeli midfielder after a weekend derby saw a loss to rival Rangers.
Nir Bitton was called a “dirty Jew bastard” and a “Zionist rat” on social media after receiving a red card in the match. His wife also revealed that she has been subjected to abuse, including calls for her and her husband to be “hanged”. One post said: “Here you ya cow, you and yer husband deserve tae be hung on the streets. F**k you and yer wains.”
Their two children have also reportedly had abuse directed at them as well.
This is not the first time that Mr Bitton has disclosed the abuse he suffers from some of the club’s fans; in 2016 the police launched an investigation after a Celtic fan said that Mr Bitton should be gassed.
It is also not Celtic’s first brush with controversy over Jews or Israel, having been sanctioned by UEFA in the past over persistent problems. In the Scottish FA Cup final in 2016, for example, fans displayed a banner reading “end Zionism”. A Jewish former director of the club was also subjected to abuse by fans, including “Get this Ashkenazi c*** out of OUR club and take that other fake jew p**** Bitton with him [sic]”, and “He’s a Jew what do you expect”.
A spokesperson for Celtic FC said that it has passed its fans’ “vile” comments to Police Scotland and called for those responsible to be identified, adding that “all appropriate action should be taken”. The spokesperson added that “those responsible for such vile comments do not represent Celtic or Celtic supporters. They are faceless and nameless.”
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “With this latest episode of antisemitic abuse, a group of Celtic FC’s fans have once again brought shame on their club with their appalling Jew-baiting. This antisemitism is even more astonishing when such abuse is directed at the team’s own players and staff. We commend the club for reporting these individuals to the police and would be happy to assist in identifying the perpetrators. We hope that the club will also follow the example of clubs south of the border which have adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism.”